In October, I said good-bye to my bladder and hello to my urostomy. We’ve spent the last several months getting acquainted with each other, and I must say, it’s going quite well. In the beginning, I was concerned that because I’m such a slender person, it would be difficult to conceal my new addition and that everyone would always know I had a pee bag. To be clear, I realize that I’m blogging about said pee bag right here and that I’ve spoken openly about it on national television. I obviously don’t mind if people know I have a urostomy, but they certainly don’t need to see it all the time. So I began exploring my options.
On a day to day basis, if I’m going nowhere in particular, and because it’s cold outside and I have layering on my team, I generally just wear a tight cami under my shirt. That seems to do the trick well enough. I have also taken full advantage of the legging craze that’s sweeping the nation. I pull those suckers right on up over my bag, and poof- the bag disappears (my stoma – which is the opening where the urine comes out of my body and goes into the bag- is situated to the right of and just slightly below my belly button). My shirt covers the top of the pants so no one can see that I’m in full Urkel mode under there.
The hospital gave me some sort of compression band that is white and stretchy, and while it does smooth out my profile, it gets super itchy after an hour or so. I wear it from time to time, usually with jeans (because I absolutely refuse to give up my low rise jeans I wore before this surgery, and the bag bulges with air over the top of my jeans as it fills with urine if I don’t use some sort of compression garment). I’ve also taken to simply tucking the top of the bag down into my jeans. Bottom line: I have to empty the bag more often if I’m wearing jeans than if I’m wearing something with more give regardless which method of smoothing I choose.
I also recently decided to try out Spanx because I had a party to which I wanted to wear a dress. OK, to be fair, I didn’t want to spend $80 on my first pair so I went to Kohl’s and got Flexees. They were about half the price and worked great! I went with the style that has shorts that hit mid thigh and the top comes up to just under my boobs. I wanted the versatility to wear them with skirts or pants. Even I couldn’t tell that I had a urostomy. This was amazing! It was as I stared at my sexy self in my new dress in the mirror that I felt alright about my body for the first time since surgery. These things are a god send where self esteem is concerned.